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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sharpening your hedge trimmer yourself

There’s something about the clean lines, defined edges and the uniform precision of a well-trimmed hedge. And with a STIHL hedge trimmer, you can bring that something special to your own landscape each and every time. 

For optimum performance, and the health of your hedges, you shouldn’t wait until the blades are showing signs of serious wear before sharpening them. The blades should be sharpened regularly after about every 50 hours of operation to maintain cutting performance.

Before you begin to sharpen, make sure any sap, resin residue, and dirt are removed from the blades, otherwise you could damage your file. As a rule of thumb, only sharpen the cutting edge. Ensure that the file does not come into contact with the integrated cut protection or, in the case of professional hedge trimmers, the orange plastic cut protection.

To ensure long-lasting cutting performance, follow these two steps.

1. Sharpen using a flat file

First of all, a flat file can be used.
Make sure that the upper and lower blades come to rest at the same position. This simplifies the filing process.
Always file in the direction of the cutting edge. This is how the flat file is designed to work and guarantees an optimum cutting edge. Try to maintain the specified sharpening angle. This can be found your equipment’s instruction manual under “Specifications”.
Only sharpen the blade downwards in the direction of the cutting edge. Ensure the file is not in contact with the blade when pulling back upwards, or the blade will become blunt.

2. Remove burrs with a sharpening stone

For the second step, remove the burr from the bottom of the blade using a sharpening stone. After the blade has been sharpened, carefully clean the blades again removing any metal filings. Finally, spray the blades with resin-free spray to prevent the steel blades from rusting.

Of course, you can always take you hedge trimmer to your local STIHL dealer for professional sharpening. They will ensure the optimum sharpening angle at all times and ensure that not too much material is filed off. 

Use our STIHL Dealer Locator to find a dealer near you.


  1. A video would be helpful.

    1. Thanks. One is available from our international YouTube site. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjtlRViaqYk

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  6. I'd recommend this to my neighbor. Cleaning the tools is the cheaper way plus, you have your best interests in mind when doing so!

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  8. Thanks for sharing these tips! Glad to know there is a DIY method of sharpening these instead of always asking (and paying) for the pros to do it!

  9. Thank you so much for the tip on sharpening hedge trimmers. Super helpful!

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  10. I am using this one for the long time, such a great tool.